The Just Be Nice Project headed to the Keep Melbourne Moving forum, organised by the 'Journey Reliability Policy Chapter' of Roads Australia and hosted by Aurecon at their wonderful offices in the Docklands.
Around 80 individuals from various public, private and governmental stakeholders in infrast'ructure development were brought together to hear from presenters and a panel of experts on the future of journey reliability in Melbourne and Australia.
The workshop then opened up to groups of attendees to discuss and formulate responses to the issues of;
Economic and Population Growth.
Major Infrastructure Projects.
Land Use Planning.
Cost of Transport (We sat on this discussion).
It is important for us at the Just Be Nice Project to be a part of these discussions.The future of infrastructure development, as well as the projects themselves, present a number of challenges and opportunities for individuals, families and communities that are vulnerable to the effects of these changes. Rising public transport costs, slower transport times, rising costs of shipping, housing costs, costs of living and accessibility all affect vulnerable parties.
It was eye opening to see the different perspectives of the various interests in the room, interests from organisations as diverse as Vicroads, PwC, Laing O'Rourke Australia, LeadWest, Monash University, National Transport Commission, Professionals Australia, Victorian Transport Association, Yarra Trams etc.
There are many conflicting opinions across the board about the future of public transport, disruptive technology, PPP infrastructure development and what the best use of infrastructure should be. We offer a perspective that covers the needs and concerns of the most exposed members of the community, the people who are greatly affected by these opportunities.
In an engaging presentation by Sameem Moslih, Director of Journey Services at Vicroads, the notion of ‘Movement & Place’ was explained. This concept is used as a means of effectively triaging project importance based on whether a given location is important as a Place- a destination, a place where we want to encourage people to stay, or Movement- primarily a thoroughfare, a means of getting from A to B as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The CBD for instance is a combination of both a destination and a thoroughfare, so it has a complex set of ratings across every street/intersection and mode of transport. The Monash Freeway however is 100% for movement, and as such, all interventions and upgrades should be made with that in mind.
It turns out that 42% of movement on all the Vicroads maintained roads is done on 7% of the paved network, so investing in improving the movement on this infrastructure can be a much more economical use of development, than investing in smaller, localised traffic issues. Of course, this is where individual council concerns about their constituencies can be at odds with outcomes that might be responsible for more ‘greater good’. This of course makes for interesting negotiations.
It was interesting to note, that of the Vicroads 6 objectives, 2 of them are social - (Socio-Economic inclusion and Economic Prosperity).
We see time and time again in the prospectus, values and objectives of organisations, various social outcomes noted, often without an accompanying relevant chain of custody to the actual people who need assistance with their socio-economic development and inclusion. This provides us with great hope for the future as we push the envelope with new and innovative ways to bring the public, private and non-profit sectors together to actually improve the equality of opportunity for those in need through projects such as these. Managing impact right into these communities while being conscious of top level profit and developmental objectives, the needs of industry and the environment.
While there was much discussion about how to weight the importance of things like roads vs public transport, land use vs population sprawl and whether to first invest in infrastructure and then develop a community or vice-versa, the one point that came up again and again was that the resources that exist right now need to be managed far more efficiently.
We most certainly agree with that sentiment.
We look forward to continuing to work and develop strategies and programs for the increased infrastructure developments in Victoria. It would be an outrageous shame to have all this investment deliver projects without maximising the potential for providing opportunities to the marginal communities that could most use them. Long term investment in the people and communities of Australia is as important, if not more important, than simply building more infrastructure. To be able to do the two things simultaneously provides a moment in time to stimulate the economies of all the states in way that directly positively impacts these at-risk populations.
Check out the Roads Australia News Updates HERE.
Jump on the Aurecon ‘Just Imagine’ blog HERE.
The AustRoads Congestion and Reliability Report is available HERE.
Just Be Nice
A collection of articles relevant to pursuing the effective execution of altruism in the search for equality of opportunity.